My major research focuses on the epidemiology of prostate cancer risk and progression within cohorts of men from the United States and Scandinavia, with an emphasis on biomarker studies, including circulating markers, inherited genetic susceptibility markers, as well as tumor biomarkers. Below I highlight two specific areas of research.
Patho-epidemiology. I co-lead the Prostate Cancer Patho-epidemiology team, a multidisciplinary, international effort that integrates pathology data and tumor biomarkers at the RNA, DNA and protein level into our epidemiological studies. One overarching objective of this work is to identify molecular signatures of lethal prostate cancer and response to therapy, and provide insight into the biology of prostate cancer risk factors and progression. The projects leverage a tumor biorepository of 3,000 men with prostate cancer from the Physicians Health Study (PHS), Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), and a Swedish Watchful Waiting Cohort.
Twin studies of cancer. I am co-PI, with Professor Adami, of a large-scale twin study of cancer among 300,000 twins from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Within this unique resource, we aim to estimate the heritability in risk of various cancers, as well as to examine the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors in cancer survival. Future work in the twin setting will include a tumor tissue collection, in order to examine the heritability of somatic alterations in tumors.